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Learning Measures as Predictors of Success in Torpedoman's Mates School

Allison, Roger B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Office of Naval Research, Academic Ability, Cognitive Tests, Grade Prediction, Military Training, Navy, Perceptual-motor learning.


The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of learning ability that would predict success in Navy schools teaching mechanical- motor skills. When combined with scores from the Navy Basic Test Battery, the learning measure was also expected to increase the predictive effectiveness obtainable from the Basic Battery alone. Learning ability was assessed in terms of a cumulative rate-of- work score based upon five administrations of the Breech Block Performance Test. A sound film describing the assembly of the breech block of a 40 mm. antiaircraft gun preceded each administration of the performance test. The results of the study showed that the learning measure could be used by itself to predict success in the school about as effectively as was possible with many of the tests from the Basic Battery. Furthermore, when the learning scores were combined with scores from the Basic Battery, substantial gains in predictive efficiency were obtained. A second method for assessing learning ability was developed around a paper-and-pencil alternate for the assembly test. Although administered immediately after the performance test, this test nevertheless yielded significant correlations with the criteria. When the learning measures obtained from the paper-and-pencil test and the performance test were combined, their correlations with criterion measures were remarkably high, as compared with results obtained from the Basic Battery.

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